Christian Science on trial: religious healing in America by Rennie B. Schoepflin

By Rennie B. Schoepflin

In Christian technology on Trial, historian Rennie B. Schoepflin exhibits how Christian technology therapeutic turned a doable substitute to medication on the finish of the 19th century. Christian Scientists didn't easily evangelize for his or her spiritual ideals; they engaged in a therapeutic company that provided a healing substitute to many sufferers for whom drugs had confirmed unsatisfactory. Tracing the evolution of Christian technology throughout the past due 19th and early 20th centuries, Christian technological know-how on Trial illuminates the movement's fight for lifestyles opposed to the efforts of prepared American drugs to curtail its activities.Physicians exhibited an nervousness and tenacity to trivialize and regulate Christian Scientists which shows a scarcity of self assurance one of the turn-of-the-century scientific occupation approximately who managed American overall healthiness care. The restricted authority of the clinical group turns into even clearer via Schoepflin's exam of the pitched battles fought by way of physicians and Christian Scientists in America's courtrooms and legislative halls over the legality of Christian technology therapeutic. whereas the problems of clinical licensing, the which means of clinical perform, and the meant correct of usa citizens to healing selection ruled early debates, later confrontations observed the felony concerns shift to concerns of contagious affliction, public safeguard, and kid's rights. all through, Christian Scientists printed their ambiguous prestige as clinical practitioners and non secular healers. The Twenties witnessed an unsteady truce among American medication and Christian technology. The ambivalence of many american citizens concerning the perform of spiritual therapeutic endured, despite the fact that. In Christian technology on Trial we achieve a useful ancient context for knowing late–twentieth-century public debates over kid's rights, parental accountability, and the authority of recent medication.

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F LO R E N C E W I L L I A M S , Le Roy, Michigan, 1891 In an exceptionally complete Christian Science Journal testimonial, Mrs. E. D. S. recounted the story of her March 1888 conversion to Christian Science and the beginning of her healing career. Disagreeable experiences with regular medicine early in life had led her to become ‘‘disgusted with drugs,’’ and she turned instead to the principles of hygiene, which she practiced for twenty years before coming to doubt their ability to prevent disease.

22 The Kennedy Partnership Among the students Eddy instructed from mid-1868 to early 1870 was Richard Kennedy, a young and energetic disciple who early caught Eddy’s eye and furnished a new way for her to earn an income and spread her healing system. After completing his coursework, Kennedy agreed in February ‘‘to pay Mary M. B. ’’23 Another recent student, Sarah Bagley, signed a similar contract ‘‘to pay Mrs. 24 When the two moved into offices in Lynn, Massachusetts, in May 1870, the steady flow of satisfied patients soon created a pool of willing students for the three classes Eddy held in Lynn.

It is doubtful that this explanation convinced many skeptics, but during 1872 Eddy experienced a second and more public challenge to her fragile authority when a former student, Wallace W. Wright, accused her in a Lynn newspaper of practicing mesmerism and her associate Kennedy refused her command to reduce the amount of rubbing and manipulating in his practice. Stung by Wright’s charge and Kennedy’s insubordination, Eddy dissolved her partnership with Kennedy, ceased manipulation, and branded as mesmerism all schools of metaphysical healing that differed from her own.

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